Roger Federer, when asked about his lengthy history with the Mastercard Hopman Cup, is keen to correct the assumption that it began with the 1990s.
Federer won his first Grand Slam match in 2001 with Martina Hingis as his hitting partner, and 17 years later, he and Belinda Bencic won the Australian Open with Hingis as theirs.
I’ve been here six times total, and each time I’ve had fantastic companions and a wonderful experience.
This remark reveals a lot about the beloved champion, who will be playing with Bencic in today’s final between Switzerland and Germany.
First, there’s the meticulousness that let Federer amass 99 victories, including 20 majors, and have one of the greatest tennis careers ever.
Second, there is the man’s inherent desire to do right by the past. Federer said, “I appreciate when they commemorate great individuals like Harry Hopman.” And Lucy Hopman was the tournament’s patron for many years, during which she performed an outstanding job.
Perhaps most importantly, Federer shares the amazement of his millions of fans across the world that he is still a formidable opponent after more than two decades on the circuit.
Federer, aged 37, says, “I’m pleased I’m still on tour and feeling as well as I do right now,” adding that looking forward to his yearly return to Australia is one of the reasons he has a pleasant off-season.
He says, “I enjoy playing in Australia,” and that the venue has given him “positive vibes” for the remainder of the season.
“Here, everyone is aware of it. I have many wonderful pals in this nation.
Even more impressively, his already-superb tennis performance benefits greatly from his contented personal life.
Federer has continued to add to his record, most recently winning his 18th Grand Slam championship in the 2017 Australian Open after making his much-anticipated comeback from injury at the Mastercard Hopman Cup.
Federer has won 21 consecutive matches in Australia, including his two consecutive Australian Open titles, his flawless singles run at the 2018 Mastercard Hopman Cup, and his play thus far this year.
Federer will not forget that Zverev was the last player to beat him in a singles match in Australia; the 2017 round robin match between the two went to three tiebreak sets.
The fact that Federer lost to the German in the semi-finals of the prestigious ATP Finals adds an interesting twist to today’s final.
Zverev’s triumph in Perth was his third victory against the Swiss star on tour, who praised the 21-year-progress. old’s
Compared to last year, “I believe Zverev’s coming in more prepared this year,” he says of the next tournament.
Maybe his game was still missing a little bit last year despite all the conditioning work he put in leading up to the Hopman Cup.
To paraphrase, “I believe that’s not the case this time around and he’s a different player.”
However, Federer will also feel encouraged by his early success this year.
After sweeping through Cameron Norrie, Frances Tiafoe, and Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets, the pressure is on to maintain that level of play.
“It’s all about keeping my play at a high level,” he explains.
I’m satisfied with where my skill level now stands.
When world No. 54 Bencic meets world No. 2 Kerber, the battle may increase in complexity.
The 21-year-old may have lost in singles this week to Serena Williams and Maria Sakkari, but she may take heart from the fact that she leads Kerber 3-1 in their overall head-to-head matchup.
Last time these two played at Wimbledon in 2018, Kerber went on to win the tournament, making this victory by the German his only victory.
The importance of winning a fourth Mastercard Hopman Cup for Switzerland is a tremendous incentive for the Swiss team. If Federer were to win the Hopman Cup three times, he would become the only player in the competition’s history to do so.
He remarked that defending Switzerland’s 2018 championship “would be amazing, you know.” I believe it was obvious on both of our expressions how much it meant to win last year. In a nutshell, it was the perfect way to start the season.
After so many years on the road, motivation is essential, and such achievements serve to boost it.
Despite Federer’s extensive history at the Hopman Cup, he still has time to make more unforgettable moments.